The Arrival of ‘Craft Cocaine’
Dealers on the dark net are branding their coke in an effort to attract customers looking for a purer high. Read on to find out how this trend is leading users to conceal their addictions behind highbrow talk about ‘artisan’ versions of the drug.
Britain has seen the rise of a class of ‘coke connoisseurs’, or as a new investigation from VICE puts it, “an ever-expanding gaggle of (mostly) men who take great pride in knowing more about blow than you.” They come together online, in virtual spaces on the dark web, to both purchase and review batches of cocaine.
They are not an anomaly: 25 per cent of British users purchase their drugs online, according to the 2018 Global Drug Survey—the same goes for nearly 20 per cent of Australian and American users.
Forums on the dark web have grown from serving as marketplaces for cocaine to becoming hubs for discussions about the experience of coke use. Experts worry that these serve to normalise a dangerous and highly addictive habit, comparing the sampling of craft cocaine to the tasting of local beers or fair-trade coffee.
A False Sense of Sophistication Around Cocaine Abuse
The dark web used to be a place where weapons and even illegal organs would be sold, but coke is now a product in high demand online—so much so that buyers have created their own vernacular to describe the highs they get, and addictions that are being overlooked as an artisan interest. ‘Petrol’ is used to indicate coke that has chemicals present, and ‘organic’ describes what is perceived as purer cocaine. Users also rate details like ‘bag appeal’—or the presentation of the drug.
Participants defend the encrypted forums, saying that the communication helps ensure that they stay safe. Yet the dealers selling cocaine online conceal their identities, making it difficult to hold them accountable for undesirable side effects, health issues or overdoses. From VICE’s investigation, the discussions by users are more about bragging rights and perpetuating a false sense of sophistication than about safety.
Craft Cocaine is Still Dangerous
Eliminating contaminants in order to obtain unadulterated cocaine—a goal of many dark net buyers does not eliminate the risks of cocaine use. Many hospitalisations due to coke use are related to cardiovascular effects: chest pain, heart attacks and increased pulse rate. These can become more prominent the ‘purer’ the cocaine is. Cocaine use also has a range of other negative side effects, including, but not limited to:
- Organ failure
- Convulsions and seizures
- Bleeding in the brain
You can read the full article on the dangerous trend of craft cocaine here. Dressing up the drug with new slang and seasoned reviews of the experience of being high does not negate the mental and physical health risks of abusing coke. Addiction is just that, regardless of how it is presented. Fight back against any delusions that cocaine is an artisan product and contact us today for the reality check you’ve been waiting for.